Educate me on having cattle

   / Educate me on having cattle #71  

Larry Caldwell

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I'm not a livestock guy, but have known small cattle operators who managed to make a profit with good pasture and good marketing. Grass fed and pasture/hay finished beef claims a big premium in price over auction prices. We are fortunate enough to have a local USDA inspected slaughterhouse, so halves and quarters can be freezer wrapped and sold directly to customers. I have a neighbor who sells about 40 head a year that way, around the middle of May when the pasture starts to dry out. He's third generation on that land and has established a customer base over the years. He pastures about 1000 acres, 360 that he owns and 640 on an adjacent BLM lease. He has about 100-120 acres of flat ground that he takes one cutting of hay from.

Maintaining miles of fence through rugged country is a job. He runs pack mules to get the materials around and guides hunting trips in season for extra income, so the mules work for a living too.

Another small operator I knew (online) was a woman in the Midwest who had a freezer truck and took beef to the local farmer's market for sale. Her operation was smaller. I don't know how many head she raised, but they were pasture and grain finished. She was profitable, but a divorce ran her out of the business.
 
   / Educate me on having cattle #73  

bigtiller

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central Iowa
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I began to hate cattle, just working on my Dad's farm. Those bastards would look for any weakness in fencing. I'd look into those dull empty eyes they have, and completely not care about them aside from the leader Cows/ Steers: Those, were more like pets. These are the Cows/Steers that have been trained to lead the rest around. Bulls are dangerous animals. We had two people killed on our farm due to bulls, and farm hands not knowing that you never stand between a bull and a stationary object.
I have never been around any size of cattle ranch but I know bulls are temperamental at best. But why should I "never stand between a bull and a stationary object"?
 
   / Educate me on having cattle #75  

LouNY

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It's the dairy bulls that are dangerous. Holstein bulls kill about 3 dairy farmers a year, on average. Beef bulls are more laid back.
Oh heck every large critter is dangerous. I've been around livestock all my life. I have know a couple of people who got killed by livestock.
One was a bull that was a pet, guy was cleaning his pen and the bull swung his head back to see him and get some attention and crushed him against the stall wall. One was a beef cow with a calve that had gotten hung in some fence, he got the calf loose the calf started bleating and the cow attacked him he died a couple days later. Another was a man walking behind a horse that got kicked and died.
Oh almost forgot had a neigbor 5-7 years ago got killed by a young heifer, she was being herded and made a break for a gap were he was standing and rammed him into the gate he was standinging in front of, Just a yearling Holstien heifer.

I certainly wouldn't say that Holstien bulls are more aggressive then an Angus bull.
And neither of them is as aggresive as an Angus cow with a new calf.

I have even see some Holstien cows that you wouldn't turn your back on after they calve, while most of them will let you walk up to it, pick it up and carry it with the cow just following.
The Angus beefers on the farm now will be on top of you if you try and handle a calf.
 
   / Educate me on having cattle #76  

OldMcDonald

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Mainland, Orkney Islands.
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I think my biggest obstacle is just being so green, and not knowing anything about cattle.
Knowing that you do not know things is the best starting point. I am sure your life experiences will get you there quicker than most folks. I do note you are doing the right thing regarding the estate. I reckoned you would be, but some following this thread might not have been aware of the situatio
I certainly wouldn't say that Holstien bulls are more aggressive then an Angus bull.
And neither of them is as aggresive as an Angus cow with a new calf.
I was once on a horse that was felled by a Holstein bull. I thought he was coming back for me!

Having said that, I am not personally aware of anyone killed or even attacked by a bull, but I knew of two men killed by Hereford cows. I have always been told, and believe it, that cows of any breed are more dangerous than bulls of any breed, especially if they have a calf. Never get between a cow and its calf. Whenever possible I used to work pairs in the yards on horseback when in Australia - big yards. In the UK with quieter cattle and small yards it was usually possible to do the work on foot, but only me in the yard.
 
   / Educate me on having cattle #77  

MossRoad

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I knew a girl in high school who's parents had a farm. They had a bull. It came over to the fence and she rubbed and scratched it's nose. Really docile. She said if I went in the pen in with it that it would kill me. She said it only hated men. Her dad, uncles, brother... but she and her mom could handle it no problems.

I looked at it and it gave me the side-eye.... point taken. 😬
 
   / Educate me on having cattle #78  

MAX-24-Dean

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It's the dairy bulls that are dangerous. Holstein bulls kill about 3 dairy farmers a year, on average. Beef bulls are more laid back.
Dairy bulls? Got horned into a manure pit by a holstein bull. Never knew they where more agressive than beef bulls.
The joke was, he was trying to make me look and smell bad.
 
   / Educate me on having cattle #79  

JasperFrank

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Eddiewalker, just be glad you didn't get any of these.
They are the entire reason why the ancient Romans created Hadrian's Wall. :)

highlander.jpg
 
   / Educate me on having cattle #80  

oosik

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I have lived for 42+ years in the middle of ranchers with cattle. One large rancher on my north - another on my south. There is NO WAY I would wish to have anything to do with raising cattle. Not at my age - 80.

From what I've seen it's a never ending job. 24/7/365. Fencing - feeding - rearing - vet services - weather concerns - unexpected costs - grazing concerns. It is a constant job with so very many pit falls.

Around here it's a family business. Passed down from father to son - etc. VERY FEW go directly into ranching as an initial business venture.

The two ranching families on my North and South are, probably, good examples. The cattle ranch on the North has been passed down thru, at least, four generations of the same family. One of the sons is now taking over this operation.

The rancher on the south has INSISTED that his son graduate college and take up some other form of occupation. He does not want his son to take up ranching and follow in his foot steps.
 
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